Is Saudi Money Behind the Met Opera’s Anti-Semitic Pro-Terrorist Death of Klinghoffer Production? By Daniel Greenfield

American oil companies used to sponsor a lot of cultural programming. As the Saudis nationalized and began to take control, that has shifted.

The Saudis are not big opera buffs, but their regime spreads anti-Semitism around the world. And the Metropolitan Opera’s current decision to mount The Death of Klinghoffer, a widely denounced anti-Semitic modern opera in a season packed with productions that are rarely less than a century old, is a curious aberration.

The Metropolitan Opera’s manager Peter Gelb is predicting bankruptcy in two years as the Met has blown through a fortune, for example spending $169,000 on a poppy field used as opera scenery.

The Met is incapable of budgeting and its needs money badly.

Saudi Petroleum International is a local arm of Saudi Aramco and a significant donor to the Metropolitan Opera. The Saudi Minister of Petroleum, Ibrahim Al-Naimi, has even been listed on occasion as a principal sponsor.

The Met has increasingly been making its money from digital broadcasts, rather than theater performances, making it more reliant on international audiences. Its “Live in HD” digital broadcasts go out to countries such as Lebanon, Morocco, as well as to Dubai.

The HD business has become the Met’s bread and butter and like a lot of the luxury trade, it’s looking for a cut of the gushing wells of oil money from nouveau riche sheiks and princes.

Catering to their bigotry is not the classiest way to get it, but it certainly has a history of working.


This is not just offensive. It’s dangerous.

The month after we observed the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, the Metropolitan Opera, one of the world’s most prestigious cultural institutions, will bow to forces of anti-Semitism and pro-terrorist sentiment. The Met is to present an obscene opera titled “The Death of Klinghoffer” — a musical celebration of the senseless murder by Palestinian monsters of a defenseless, elderly Jewish New Yorker.

People of good conscience are not taking this artistic assault lying down.

“Are we in hell?” veteran actor Tony Lo Bianco asked me.

“I don’t know who we are anymore,” he said. “Our values have been destroyed. We’ve gone politically correct, and we’ve destroyed ourselves.”

Since it was first produced at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1991, “The Death of Klinghoffer” has outraged some audiences. But it also has inspired hatred among people of all religions with its romantic portrayal of an act of violence committed by creatures who don’t deserve to breathe air.

The opera, by American composer John Adams with a libretto by his countrywoman Alice Goodman, dramatizes the murder — not merely the “death,” as the title implies — of Leon Klinghoffer.

Is China Outstripping the West at Innovation? DAVID P GOLDMAN

Conventional economic theory does a poor job of explaining the growth eruptions that transformed Western Europe during the 19th century and parts of Asia during the late 20th century, the Nobel Laureate Edmund Phelps argued in his 2013 book Mass Flourishing (Princeton, £19.95). Phelps’s book drew positive reviews but not enough thoughtful consideration. It challenges many of our prized assumptions about what makes economies succeed.

It is not scientific discovery, nor engineering skill, nor education, nor the astuteness of entrepreneurs that generates economic transformation, Phelps observed, although all of these elements are important. Rather, it is the willingness of the whole of society to plunge into “the topsy-turvy of creation, the frenzy of development” — to pull up stakes and move, to abandon old ways of doing things and try new ones, to abandon the safe harbor of the familiar and embrace novelty.

Phelps is closer in spirit to Paul Johnson’s 1991 study The Birth of the Modern than to any of the economic theorists. What he calls “mass flourishing” in contrast to ordinary economic growth stems from a radical change in attitudes and ideas through the whole of society.

“The advent of the modern economy,” Phelps writes, “brought a metamorphosis: a modern economy turns people who are close to the economy, where they are apt to be struck by new commercial ideas, into the investigators and experimenters who manage the innovation process from development and, in many cases, adoption as well. In a role reversal, scientists and engineers are called in to assist on technical matters. In fact, it turns all sorts of people into ‘idea-men,’ financiers into thinkers, producers into marketers, and end-users into pioneers.”

Like Paul Johnson, Phelps dates Europe’s growth take-off from 1815. The scientific revolution and the Age of Navigation produced no dividends for ordinary folk until modernity enveloped Europe and turned whole societies into innovators. “The modern economies were not the old mercantile economies,” Phelps writes, “but something new under the sun.”

The living standards of ordinary Europeans in 1800 were not much different from those of Roman or medieval times. But modernity brought “a cornucopia of material benefits”, Phelps observes. “By 1870, total domestic output per capita in Western Europe as a whole had risen 63 per cent above its 1820 level. By 1913, there was a further rise of 76 per cent.”


The rapid expansion of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in Iraq, and the fact that many of its fighters are Saudis, have sparked growing fears in Saudi Arabia that the extremist organization might spread to the kingdom. Among the reflections of this fear were the Saudi responses to an official IS release about Faisal bin Shaman Al-‘Anzi, a 25-year-old Saudi medical doctor who joined the organization and who on July 11, 2014 perpetrated a car-bomb suicide attack at a Peshmerga checkpoint in Kirkuk in northern Iraq, killing and injuring some 30 people.[1] Until the release of this news, Al-‘Anzi’s family had denied reports that he was a fighter and claimed that he had been killed while working at an IS clinic. Responding to the photo below, which shows him brandishing a large knife, his brother explained that he sometimes carried a weapon for personal protection while traveling through combat zones.[2]

Al-‘Anzi brandishing an ISIS butcher knife (image:, July 22, 2014)
Al-‘Anzi’s story sparked outrage in the Saudi press. Columnists asked how a doctor, who is supposed to save lives and treat people regardless of religion, race or gender, could abandon his calling and become a suicide bomber in the ranks of an organization like ISIS, whose values are diametrically opposed to those of his profession. They also stressed that the roots of the phenomenon are to be found within the institutions of Saudi society itself, from the education system and the family to the civil service and the military. The columnists urged Saudis in particular and Muslims in general to wake up and start monitoring this phenomenon, and some suggested reexamining the entire ideological and moral foundations of the Saudi state.

The following are excerpts from some of the articles:
Liberal Columnist Halima Muzaffar: What Caused A Doctor To Shed His Humanity And Become A Criminal?

Understanding Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi And The Phenomenon Of The Islamic Caliphate State By: Y. Carmon, Y. Yehoshua, and A. Leone*

The successive atrocities committed by the Islamic State (IS, previously called the Islamic State in Iraq and Al-Sham – ISIS) have diverted the discussion away from an understanding of this organization’s political program, creating the erroneous impression that it is simply a more vicious version of Al-Qaeda. According to this view, this organization presumably intends to attack the West by means of its foreign militants who hold Western passports and could return to Western countries to carry out terror attacks – and hence it is paramount to destroy the IS forthwith. Saudi King ‘Abdallah bin ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz promoted this approach when he said that he was certain that those jihadists “would arrive in Europe within a month and in America within two months”.[1]

This report seeks to clarify the IS’s doctrine based on the organization’s official writings and speeches by its leaders. It will argue that, unlike Al-Qaeda, the IS places priority not on global terrorism, but rather on establishing and consolidating a state, and hence it defers the clash with the West to a much later stage. In this, it is emulating and reenacting the early Islamic model.
Unlike Al-Qaeda, IS Prioritizes State-Building

Although the IS and global jihad organizations affiliated with Al-Qaeda share similar beliefs about the necessity to wage jihad for the sake of Allah and establish a caliphate where Islamic shari’a law will be instated, a major distinction exists between them in terms of the order of priorities for implementing these major goals. Whereas in Al-Qaeda, emphasis is on worldwide jihad prior to the declaration of the yearned-for Islamic caliphate (see Osama bin Laden’s February 23, 1998 declaration of jihad against the Crusaders and the Jews), IS doctrine is characterized by prioritizing the establishment and consolidation of the caliphate state as the immediate and overriding objective.[2] This objective is presented by the IS leaders as a matter of survival[3] that warrants making compromises dictated by reality, the major compromise being deferral of the struggle with the West to a distant future. In other words, the IS’ doctrine under Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi explicitly puts off the clash with the West to different times, and concentrates in the immediate term on the region where the Islamic caliphate is being established.[4] The IS’s English-language magazine Dabiq says that the Islamic State “is a marvel of history that has only come about to pave the way for al-Malhamah al-Kubra [the grand battle against the Crusaders at the End of Days].”[5]


John Campbell (R) Incumbent – is Retiring in 2014

Mimi Walters (R) Challenger
State Sen., Ex-State Assemblywoman, Ex-Laguna Niguel Councilwoman & Investment Banker

HEALTHCARE The Obama administration’s takeover of our health care system was wrong and I will work to repeal Obamacare and replace it with market-based reforms that protect patient choice, keep costs down and preserve the greatest health system in the world.

IMMIGRATION America’s immigration and border security systems are broken. America needs a clear and enforceable policy that begins with secure borders, treats all in a humane and fair manner and doesn’t reward those who break our laws. We also need a guest worker system, especially for our farms and agricultural industries.

FOREIGN POLICY-ISRAEL The United States and Israel have a historic and unique friendship that must be preserved. The two countries share a common bond based on a belief in freedom, human rights and democratic principles. While countless others have failed or are currently failing, Israel has always stood as a shining example of a thriving democratic nation in the Middle East.
Terrorism in the name of religion is a threat Israel and its citizens have had to live with for many decades. The spread of Islamic terrorism has touched every corner of the globe and threatens freedom-loving people everywhere. Israel is a proven and unwavering friend and partner to the U.S. in our efforts to combat these threats and wipe out terrorism.
Israel not only has a right to exist, it has a right to exist in peace. Both of our nations are dedicated to finding a lasting peace, but peace will not and cannot come at the expense of our own security. As a member of Congress, I will work to make sure our two nations remain strong and vigilant, with all the resources needed to meet any terrorist threat or military challenge. I will work to preserve and enhance our friendship and alliance, so we can continue to work towards a lasting peace in the Holy Land that protects the security of both nations.
Military aid to Israel is the most tangible expression of support for the Jewish State, and I stand firmly behind the 10-year Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) that provides Israel with aid necessary to defend herself from increasing threats in the region. This is a cost-effective tool that enables both America and Israel to remain safe and secure. I would also support separate measures aimed at supporting Israel in the development and procurement of advanced systems of defense.



Why Israel needs to move now toward a division of the land—even in the absence of a peace deal.

Elliott Abrams’ analysis of Israel’s strategic environment is almost entirely on point. He is right that Israel’s status quo is much more sustainable than is commonly argued, and right again on the absurdity of claims that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict constitutes the “epicenter of global politics.” Indeed, it would be equally farfetched to claim that Germany’s 500,000 Jews were the epicenter of World War II. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, itself a subset of the Israeli-Arab conflict, is but one in a long list of the Middle East’s entrenched rivalries and fault lines. Even on Israel’s own national-security agenda, the Palestinian threat no longer figures as high as the much more severe and urgent challenges presented by Iran’s nuclear ambitions and Hizballah’s ever-growing arsenals.

Still, sustainable as the status quo may be, sustainable is not coterminous with desirable. Yes, the warnings of alarmists at home and abroad are misguided if not hysterical; and yes, Israel should not forget the price of failures brought upon it by hastily concluded schemes for “comprehensive” peace agreements. But that is not the end of the matter. Since its inception, modern Zionism has been centered more on creating new realities than on enduring imperfect ones, however sustainable they may turn out to be.

“A republic, if you can keep it,” Abrams quotes Benjamin Franklin saying about the fledgling United States in 18th-century Philadelphia. But modern-day Israel does not have the luxury of standing by as a mere spectator to the Palestinian leadership’s misgovernance. Even if the Palestinian Authority, for its part, persists in refusing any reasonable peace proposal, practical and moral reasons argue against the resigned acceptance of any such reality. Practical—because of the risk of yet another failed state on Israel’s doorstep. And moral—because, even while defending itself from recurrent violence and aggression, and even while conscious of the limits of its own power, Israeli society has always taken upon itself the obligation to relieve human suffering where it can. If skeptical, one need only have observed the many truckers shuttling food and medical supplies to Gaza’s civilians during the recent campaign there, or the doctors at Israel’s top-tier hospitals who deliver medical care to Syrian and West Bank Arabs.

Disproportionate Reportage: MAUREEN LIPMAN

As my text for today, I take the words “inappropriate”, “disproportionate”, “challenging” and “extraordinary”. I intend to examine them in their current context, starting with the last.

Increasingly, the word “extraordinary” is splattered about the papers like a Rorschach test. “What an extraordinary performance she gives . . . it’s really extraordinarily moving . . . that extraordinary moment when she’s carried aloft in that most extraordinary of arias . . . It’s simply extraordinary.”

Except it isn’t. Not any more. Overuse has rendered it the most mundane, least expressive adjective in the language and it has come to mean its exact opposite, ordinary.

Similarly, the word “challenging” has sprung from political correctness and has come to suggest not resistance or defiance but something insoluble. It is applied liberally and equally to disability, the NHS, resolving the problems in the Middle East, and opening a West End show in a hot summer.

Which brings me to the inappropriate use of the word inappropriate. Explained in the dictionary as “unsuitable or not relevant to the topic”, it has come to define any bad or unethical behaviour, mostly relating to insults and sexual mores. I’m ashamed to report that I used it myself once when asked by the press why a relationship had broken up. I blamed his “inappropriate behaviour”. The word was so much in the zeitgeist, it seemed more on-trend than saying, “Actually, he was just weird.”

I’m not averse to language moving on. I understand why a “frightfully decent chap” became “a nice guy”; every generation needs their own vernacular. In my day, “nice” itself was deemed lazy and unimaginative — and indeed, originally meant “stupid”. It has long since been replaced by “cool”, “wicked” and, I’m told, “sick”. What’s sauce for the goose is coulis for the cognoscenti. Hearing myself on radio, I’m always depressed by the number of times I say, “you know.” But my real tooth-grinding kicks in when words evolve in dangerous directions.

“Disproportionate” is such a word. And these days, it seems to be used almost exclusively to describe any action — defensive or responsive — by the state of Israel.

Nazism, Communism, Islamism: How to Kill Your Way to the ‘Perfect World’

The 20th century saw the rise and fall of two murderous ideologies: Hitler’s Nazism and the ‘Communism’ practiced by the likes of Stalin and Mao. The former was (hopefully) eradicated by mass re-education, after a world war that cost the lives of 70 million human beings; the latter eventually collapsed from within, under the burden of its own profound immorality – but not before claiming the lives of around 100 million people.
These days, we see the rise of yet another vicious ideology – Islamism. Why do I place it in the same category? Quite simply: because it fits there.
True, despite being already guilty of horrendous crimes, Islamism has not – yet – caused tens of millions of victims; but neither had Nazism or Communism by the 1930s.
On the other hand, all three extreme ideologies share the same fundamental characteristics.
Firstly, all three are predicated on supremacist propositions – namely that a group of people is inherently superior to all the others. What exactly that Master Group is depends on the specific differentiator that the particular ideology is centred upon. Since Nazism saw the world through a ‘racial’ perspective, its fundamental proposition was the superiority of the ‘Aryan race’ (the Master Race or Herrenvolk); centred on ‘social’ differences, the Communists decreed that the ‘proletariat’ was inherently loftier than every other class; for the Islamists, whose particular angle is ‘religious’, it is the adherents of Islam that are ‘entitled’ to unquestioned, divinely-ordained supremacy.
Take for instance the following statement:
It is the duty of members of other races to stop disputing the sovereignty of the Aryan Race in this region, because the day these other races should take over there will be nothing but carnage, displacement and terror. Such statement sounds is surely reminiscent of early Nazi ideology, or of that espoused currently by neo-Nazi movements. Yet it originates from neither; it simply paraphrases (by merely replacing ‘religious’ with ‘racial’ terminology) a paragraph from The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas). The exact quote is:
It is the duty of the followers of other religions to stop disputing the sovereignty of Islam in this region, because the day these followers should take over there will be nothing but carnage, displacement and terror.Initially, the Nazi ideology did not advocate the physical extermination of ‘other races’ – that came later. For early Nazi ideologues, these races could be allowed to live, provided they accepted Aryan supremacy and did not attempt to ‘pollute’ the Master Race. The Racial Tenet (Rassegrundsatz) printed on every Nazi-issued ‘Aryan Certificate’ declared:
In line with national socialist thinking which does full justice to all other peoples, there is never the expression of superior or inferior, but alien racial admixtures.Hamas’s version is somewhat wordier, but fundamentally similar:
The Islamic Resistance Movement is a humanistic movement. It takes care of human rights and is guided by Islamic tolerance when dealing with the followers of other religions. It does not antagonize anyone of them except if it is antagonized by it or stands in its way to hamper its moves and waste its efforts. Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – to coexist in peace and quiet with each other. Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam.When groups like ISIS issue ultimata to Christians to ‘convert to Islam, accept its supremacy or die’, they express, in a more practical way, the same ideological tenet.
The Communist variety of supremacism is obvious, for instance, in the words of Trotsky:
When we speak of a labour government we mean that the hegemony belongs to the working class. […] Political supremacy of the proletariat is incompatible with its [current] economic slavery. […] A Socialist revolution in the West would allow us to turn the temporary supremacy of the working class directly into a Socialist dictatorship.


An order to launch an immediate attack to the world in which we live has been issued. Since yesterday, ISIS militants received an exciting command through two videos, and a tweet: kill, and kill yourselves. The Islamic State –as the video says in response, two days ago, to the Obama’s preparation of an international action against ISIS – “is resisting, in spite of your conspiracies, weapons, and stockpiled ammunitions”. Now we are going to react, says Al Baghdadi’s organization, and calls upon the fighters: “Identify your targets, prepare car bombs, explosives, and suicide belts, so as to hit hard and break some heads”. The first video shows a wide range of enemies in the background, from Obama to Abdullah, to Cameron. The tweet warns Egypt to expect a surprise, while asking the Muslim Brotherhood to form an alliance with ISIS. The second one shows a black flag as it wraps and swallows up the American, Israeli, German, and British flags.

The theoretical background is clear: ISIS decided long ago not to be content with the Middle Eastern perimeter. Actually, it discovered that both the raising number of its recruits and its success are tied to the broadening of its horizons. The more that fierce adventure sinks its teeth into the Western reality, which they deem sinful, uncomfortable, and even grim, the more the younger generation feels the urge for it. ISIS’ goal, as clearly stated by Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the caliph of beheadings and children killings, is not only to establish a state in Iraq and the Levant, as he used to say until some months ago: since last June, Al Baghdadi has a much wider Islamic State in mind, and on the tip of his gun. And he wants to pay us a visit. At the time, his speech was translated in English, French, German, Turkish, Russian, and Albanian. The underlying slogan was: “Rush O Muslims to your state” or, in other words, “leave your roots behind, and expand your power over the world we are entitled to”. He has in mind, as also Bin Laden did, the Umayyad Empire, from 661 to 750, and then the Abbasid one, and he does remember very well the 623 years of the Ottoman Empire too, which extended from the outskirts of Vienna and Poland through Azerbaijan, the Balkans and, obviously, the whole Middle East until 1922. Madrid first, but also Rome, Paris and London are now in the perspective of any follower of the re-conqueror Islam, while also India and the Far East are a target.

As the capital of Christianity, Rome is a primary land to be conquered. This has been announced not only by Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, but, for instance, also by Al Qaradawi, historical leader of Al Qaeda, and by Yunis Al Astal, a well-known Hamas preacher. All of them promised the certain conquest of the “capital of Christianity and of Crusaders”. How realistic is that order to attack? Judging by the past, we are vulnerable, and the forces of the Islamic terrorism have a very wide distribution.